Synopsis:  Aurelia Hawkins Hurst was born September 15, 1836, in London, England, to Samuel Harris Hawkins and Charlotte Savage -- a family of some means.  They gave up wealth and status to join the Mormon Church and move to Utah.  She married Frederick William Hurst and lived the rest of her live in Logan, Cache, Utah, where she died on March 24,  1907 at the age of 70.

Source: Based on an account from Erma Burnett Miller (a granddaughter of Aurelia Hawkins Hurst), was written by Erma's sister. 

 

Aurelia Hawkins (1836-1907) 

Aurelia Hawkins Hurst was born September 15, 1836, in London, England, to Samuel Harris Hawkins and Charlotte Savage -- the third of nine children.  Aurelia's mother was a lady-in-waiting to the Queen.  Aurelia's maternal grandfather's name was George Savage, and his wife's name was Ann Jupe.  Her father's mother was Ann Creighton; a painting of her hangs in the Royal Art Gallery of London.  Aurelia's father was a steel engraver. 

The Hawkins family lived in a house they had leased for 99 years.  The Hawkins children were not permitted to play with other children, but instead were kept closely in their own yard.  Her father, Samuel Hawkins, was a very religious man; he knew there was a gathering place [for the Lordís people], but he thought it was Jerusalem.  He was getting ready to move there when the Mormon Elders came along.  They taught him the gospel and he joined the church.  The family was baptized in 1848, and moved to America in 1849, crossing on the ship Zeland.  They sailed from Liverpool, England and reached New Salem, Massachusetts on December 24, 1849.

They went up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, arriving at St. Louis and lived there the first winter in America.  In the spring they purchased two teams of oxen and started for Utah.  When they reached Council Bluffs they had to move on forty miles north because there was no room.  At this point there was an old log house without doors or windows; they fixed that up to be quite comfortable.  After it was all finished her father died.  Her mother had to prepare the body for burial.  A man came from a great distance to dig the grave, digging through three feet of frozen ground to do so.

Aurelia was about twelve years old when they entered the Salt Lake Valley after walking barefoot across the plains.  A piano was also brought from England, but they were unable to get transportation for it across the plains.  After many trials and hardships they reached Utah and stayed at the home of George G. Watt.  They later bought a home in the First Ward, paying for it with their oxen and wagons.  The family did whatever they could to make a living.  They never received payment with money, but rather in kind, especially food and clothing.  Aurelia's brothers would go to dances with squash or a small sack of flour under one arm and a girl on the other.  When Johnston's Army came they moved to Payson and returned when it was safe.  One brother worked as secretary in President Young's office.  The first year they didn't have very much bread, mostly greens.  They gleaned grain and made it into flour.  They brought two cows across the plains with them, which afforded them a fair living.  A piano was also brought from England, but they were unable to get transportation for it across the plains.

Jedediah M. Grant, the father of President Heber J. Grant visited at their home and they were constant visitors at the home of President Brigham Young.  Aurelia and her brothers and sisters loved to place chairs about the upstairs drawing room and imagine playing church, and playing Brigham Young and sometimes Joseph Smith.  One of these chairs later became the property of the old Salt Lake Theater.  Aurelia's elder sister, Lavinia, played on the stage of the Salt Lake Theater; she took the part of Portia in "The Merchant of Venice" and many other parts.  Lavinia married Joseph Woodmansie, and they were later caretakers of the Joseph Smith home in Nauvoo, [Illinois].

 Aurelia's mother died April 17, 1887, at the age of 83.

Aurelia married Frederick William Hurst, Sr., November 3, 1858, at Salt Lake City, Utah.  They had ten children.  Grandmother Aurelia was a very reserved and stately lady -- she didn't believe in frivolous things, and was deeply religious.  Frederick, served two missions in the Pacific Isles.  Their home in Logan was filled with mementos from there.  Through all the trials and hardships of rearing a family while her husband was on missions, she taught her children the value of honesty and clean living.  She had very little pleasure in life other than her home and family.  Aurelia's family had been wealthy in worldly goods in England, but had very little after coming to this country.  Instead, they gained wealth in spiritual blessings.  Aurelia died March 24,  1907 after living in Logan, Cache County, Utah 49 years.